The only thing one knows about human nature is that it changes. - Oscar Wilde
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 118, Part II, 18 JUNE 1996

This is Part II of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part II is a compilation of news concerning Central, Eastern, and
Southeastern Europe. Part I, covering Russia, Transcaucasia and Central
Asia, is distributed simultaneously as a second document. Back issues of
the Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are available
through OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/Index.html

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

ULMANIS RE-ELECTED LATVIAN PRESIDENT. The Saeima on 18 June re-elected
Guntis Ulmanis as president in the first round of voting, BNS reported.
Ulmanis received 53 votes, Democratic Party Saimnieks candidate and
Saeima Chairwoman Ilga Kreituse 25, Popular Movement for Latvia
candidate Imants Liepa 14, and imprisoned former First Secretary of the
Latvian Communist Party Alfreds Rubiks five. Three deputies did not
vote. -- Saulius Girnius

ZYUGANOV SCORES VICTORY AMONG RUSSIANS LIVING IN BALTIC STATES. Some
4,500 of the 15,000 Russian citizens in Lithuania voted in the Russian
presidential elections on 16 June, BNS reported. Gennadii Zyuganov
received more than half the vote, while Boris Yeltsin got 17%, Aleksandr
Lebed 14%, Grigorii Yavlinskii 5%, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky 3%. Of the
9,337 Russian citizens living in Latvia who voted, 64.5% supported
Zyuganov, 14.7% Yeltsin, 10.2% Lebed, and 3.1% Zhirinovsky. In Estonia,
23,405 citizens voted, ETA reported. Zyuganov received 62.7% of their
votes, Lebed 15.1%, Yeltsin 11.4%, and Zhirinovsky and Yavlinskii 4.4%
each. -- Saulius Girnius

ESTONIA NOT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FOR DECLARING SOVIET PASSPORTS VOID.
Prime Minister Tiit Vahi on 17 June said the 12 July deadline for ending
the validity of Soviet passports in Estonia will not be extended, BNS
reported. He noted that the Citizenship and Migration Department will be
urged to complete the issuing of aliens' passports as soon as possible.
An alien who has not received his passport but who has received a
positive answer from the department will be able to vote in the October
local elections by producing a driver's license. Vahi estimated that
less than 200 applications for residence and work permits will be
rejected. So far, only 41 persons have been refused permits because they
have a criminal record, were employees of the former KGB, or gave false
information about themselves. -- Saulius Girnius

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SAYS NEW CURRENCY MAY APPEAR THIS YEAR. Leonid
Kuchma said Ukraine may introduce the hryvna by the end of the year,
Ukrainian TV reported on 14 June. He said his government's success in
bringing monthly inflation down to its lowest level in five years--0.7%
in May--has created a favorable climate for monetary reform this year.
However, the state's mounting wage debt of nearly 100 trillion
karbovantsi ($540 million) could still destabilize prices. In other
news, the president on 17 June signed several decrees aimed at helping
cash-strapped state-owned enterprises to avoid bankruptcy, Ukrainian TV
reported. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT FILES CORRUPTION CHARGES AGAINST COAL INDUSTRY
LEADERS. Deputy Prime Minister Vasyl Yevtukhov on 14 June said Kyiv has
filed criminal charges against an unspecified number of coal industry
managers and officials in the Luhansk region, UNIAN reported. Yevtukhov,
who led a government inspection of the region's coal mines, said he
found evidence of large-scale embezzlement and abuse of office. He added
that there may be more prosecutions in the near future. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN POLICY UPDATE. Mykhailo Syrota, chairman of the
parliamentary commission preparing the constitution for its second
reading, told UNIAN on 15 June that the commission has approved a clause
banning the deployment of foreign troops on Ukrainian territory. But he
added that the Black Sea Fleet is a special case and that special
conditions will apply for the stationing of the Russian part of the
fleet in Crimea. UNIAR the previous day reported that a parliamentary
delegation returned from Azerbaijan where it had taken part in the
seventh session of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Parliamentary
Assembly. Oleksandr Tkachenko, vice president of the assembly and deputy
chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, said Azerbaijan will soon open an
embassy in Kyiv and that Ukraine will do the same in Baku. -- Ustina
Markus

SHOOTING INCIDENT IN BELARUS. A man in police uniform shot at the car
carrying Viktar Hanchar, secretary-general of the CIS Supreme Economic
Court and a Belarusian parliamentary deputy, Belapan reported on 14
June. Hanchar was unharmed, but his secretary was wounded. No
explanation of the incident has been given. In other news, Belarus and
Taiwan have reached an agreement to open trade offices in each other's
countries, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 June. While their representatives
will have diplomatic privileges, the two countries will not establish
formal diplomatic relations. Beijing, which is strongly opposed to any
official recognition of Taiwan, temporarily broke off relations with
Latvia for having recognized Taipei. Minsk is seeking to boost economic
cooperation with Beijing. -- Ustina Markus

WARSAW CONFERENCE ON MIGRATION. Ministers of internal affairs and other
government representatives from 39 European countries began talks in
Warsaw on 17 June on migration issues and the integration of immigrants
in Europe, international media reported. The conference, the sixth of
its kind organized by the Council of Europe, is expected to examine CE
proposals on the integration of foreigners and to approve a project
titled "Tensions and Tolerance: Building better integrated communities
across Europe." -- Jakub Karpinski

DEPUTY MAJOR CHARGED OVER SWIMMING POOL BAN IN CZECH TOWN. Deputy Mayor
of Kladno Slavomir Cirnfus has been charged with inciting racial hatred,
CTK reported on 17 June. Last week, Cirnfus issued a decree barring all
Romani children from the town's swimming pools on the grounds that
Romani youths are more likely to be carriers of hepatitis than non-Roma.
He has denied that the decree was "motivated by intolerance." -- Alaina
Lemon

SLOVAK PROSPECTS FOR NATO MEMBERSHIP UNCERTAIN. Meeting with top Slovak
officials on 17 June, North Atlantic Assembly President Karsten Voigt
said it is "an illusion" to think that Slovakia can enter NATO based on
its strategic geographical position alone, Slovak and international
media reported. "My impression is that the final decision will be based
on the perception of democratic culture," he said, pointing to Western
concerns about Slovak political developments. Voigt said NATO will
decide early next year which countries will join and when. If Slovakia
is not included in the first round, "there might be the second round of
enlargement, but nobody knows when," he stressed. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAKIA'S COALITION CONFLICT CONTINUES. Representatives of Slovakia's
ruling coalition parties met in Bratislava on 17 June for a fourth round
of talks but failed to resolve the ongoing dispute over the insurance
firm Slovenska poistovna, Slovak media reported. Slovak National Party
chairman Jan Slota noted that his party is not backing down from its
demands that the privatization of financial institutions be delayed and
that the agencies of the Slovak Information Service and the National
Property Fund be expanded to include opposition representatives. But
Slota stressed that his party will not initiate the disintegration of
the coalition. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY'S COALITION PARTIES STILL AT ODDS OVER CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
BILL. Hungary's Socialist Party and Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ)
are still divided over the crucial conflict of interests bill, Hungarian
media reported on 18 June. Voting was scheduled for April but has been
delayed until after the summer recess. Last week, the SZDSZ submitted
its own version of the bill. The coalition parties disagree over to whom
the law should apply and when it should take effect. The SZDSZ wants the
law to apply retroactively to deputies who have held office since 1994,
while the Socialists want the law to go into effect after the 1998
elections. Prime Minister Gyula Horn recently said that the conflict of
interest law "can wait." -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT SUBMITS BILL TO CURB ILLEGAL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES.
The government on 17 June submitted a bill to the parliament that aims
to curb black-market activities by stepping up measures against illegal
employment and earnings, Napi Gazdasag reported. The bill provides for
control officers to conduct spot checks at all businesses in Hungary.
The officers would be allowed to enter workplaces and examine all
documents. However, they would be obliged to respect business secrecy
legislation. Authorities would be able to initiate proceedings against
both employers and employees for petty offenses or impose fines ranging
from 50,000 forints to 1 million forints ($330-$6660) for first-time
offenders and up to 3 million forints for further violations within
three years. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

INDICTED BOSNIAN SERB WAS VICTIM OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY. The International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on 17 June dropped all
charges against Goran Lajic, saying he was a victim of mistaken
identity, AFP reported. Lajic was released, but the court said that
charges against another Bosnian Serb of the same name stand. Lajic was
arrested in Germany on 18 March and was held in a UN prison in the
Netherlands for five weeks on charges of murder and torture. Meanwhile,
the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that victims of war crimes in
the former Yugoslavia can sue Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan
Karadzic in U.S. federal courts. The court rejected Karadzic's appeal
against a 1995 lower court ruling that upheld the right of a group of
Bosnian women who had been tortured and raped to file suits against
Karadzic. -- Stefan Krause

ELECTION COALITIONS IN REPUBLIKA SRPSKA. The Socialist Party of
Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav United Left of Republika Srpska will
run as a coalition in the upcoming elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Onasa reported. Negotiations with the opposition Party of Independent
Social-Democrats are under way, according to Nasa Borba. Meanwhile,
Banja Luka Mayor Predrag Radic will lead a coalition of five small
opposition parties. -- Daria Sito Sucic

TURKEY OFFERS BOSNIA DONATION INSTEAD OF LOAN. Turkish President
Suleyman Demirel, visiting Sarajevo for the first time since Bosnia-
Herzegovina proclaimed its independence, said the Turkish government has
decided to donate $20 million to Bosnia, Oslobodjenje reported on 18
June. Originally, it had intended to loan Bosnia that amount, which is
part of a $50 million program Turkey has devised to help in Bosnia's
reconstruction. Demirel met with his Bosnian counterpart, Alija
Izetbegovic, on 17 June and described their talks as "very fruitful." He
also had a meeting with Bosnian Federation President Kresimir Zubak to
discuss the implementation of the Dayton peace accord. The two leaders
agreed that the Muslim-Croatian federation is the main precondition for
preserving peace in the country. -- Daria Sito Sucic

CROATIA CLARIFIES LAW ON AMNESTY FOR REBEL SERBS IN EASTERN SLAVONIA.
Croatian Justice Minister Miroslav Separovic clarified a controversial
amnesty law on 17 June, Nasa Borba reported. Separovic made clear that
according to the law all rebel Serbs from eastern Slavonia, Baranja and
Western Srijem charged with armed rebellion against Croatia between
August 1990 and June 1996 except war criminals are pardoned. He said
Serbs now in custody or those who have already been tried and jailed
will also be released, with 4,700 court proceedings already under way to
be dropped, Reuters reported. UN administrator Jacques Klein, had asked
Croatian President Franjo Tudjman for a clear interpretation of the law.
According to Vecernji list Separovic, however, also said that the law
will not be changed. The region is due to revert to Croatian rule by
1997. * Fabian Schmidt

FERAL TRIBUNE TRIAL ADJOURNED TILL SEPTEMBER. The trial of two
journalists working for the Croatian satirical weekly Feral Tribune was
unexpectedly adjourned on its first day, AFP reported on 17 June. Viktor
Ivancic and Marinko Culic are accused of defaming Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman in an article criticizing Tudjman's suggestion that the
remains of World War II Fascists be reburied alongside their victims.
They are the first journalists to be prosecuted under a new press law
that prohibits criticism or satirical commentary on the president, the
prime minister, the parliamentary speaker, or the chief magistrates. The
trial is scheduled to resume on 25 September, when new witnesses are
expected to appear. -- Daria Sito Sucic

CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA. Mate Granic on 17 June visited
Skopje for the first time since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia to
attend the opening of the Croatian Embassy there, AFP and Nova
Makedonija reported. The opening came some five years after the two
countries recognized each other. Granic met with his Macedonian
counterpart, Ljubomir Frckovski, President Kiro Gligorov, and Prime
Minister Branko Crvenkovski. Granic and Frckovski described their talks
as successful and stressed that there are no outstanding issues between
the two countries. Granic also said that Croatia is ready to normalize
relations with rump Yugoslavia. -- Stefan Krause

OFFICIAL ROMANIAN ELECTION RESULTS. The Central Electoral Bureau (BEC)
on 17 June confirmed that the Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR)
candidate Victor Ciorbea has been elected mayor of Bucharest, defeating
his Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PSDR) opponent Ilie Nastase,
Radio Bucharest reported. Ciorbea received 56.7% of the vote and Nastase
43.2%. Results released so far by the BEC indicate that the opposition
has made gains in the mayoral elections, particularly in larger towns,
but that the PDSR continues dominate in smaller settlements. Final
results are not expected before 20 June. Petre Roman's Social Democratic
Union has clearly emerged as the third most important political force.
-- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER ON HUNGARIAN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS.
Gheorghe Tinca, in an interview with the Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet,
said the celebrations marking the 1100th anniversary of the Magyar
Conquest are "full of manifestations insulting for Romanians." He
conceded that the present Hungarian government cannot be blamed for
that. But in an allusion to Jozsef Antall's cabinet, he noted that
"nobody can guarantee that another government of historians will not
take power in Budapest again." Tinca also said his country neither can
nor wants to prevent Hungary from joining NATO before Romania. However,
he reiterated that such a development could have a negative impact on
bilateral relations and stability in the region. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

NEW STATUS FOR TRANSDNIESTER. Moldovan President Mircea Snegur and
Transdniester leader Igor Smirnov, meeting in Tiraspol on 17 June,
reached agreement on the status of the Transdniester region,
international agencies reported. Smirnov said the agreement defines the
Transdniester as a "state-territorial formation in the form of a
republic within Moldova's internationally recognized borders." This
appears to be a compromise formula that goes a long way toward meeting
Transdniestrian demands. Smirnov added that he and Snegur will sign the
agreement at a meeting attended by Russian and Ukrainian presidents. No
date for the meeting was specified, nor was there an official Moldovan
statement. -- Michael Shafir

LEBED TRIUMPHS AMONG RUSSIAN RESIDENTS OF MOLDOVA. Russian presidential
candidate Aleksander Lebed won 45% of the votes of Russian citizens
resident in Moldova, according to data BASA-Press received from the
Russian Embassy in Chisinau. Communist Party Leader Gennadii Zyuganov
received 36% of those votes, while only 11% supported Boris Yeltsin.
Turnout was put at 60%. Some 30,000 Russians reside in Moldova, with the
bulk living in the Transdniester region. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN ROUNDUP. Opposition presidential candidate Petar Stoyanov on
17 June said his running-mate will most likely be a member of the
Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union (BZNS), Standart reported. The BZNS is
the bigger of the two parties belonging to the People's Union. But BZNS
Chairwoman Anastasiya Dimitrova-Mozer will not run for vice president
because her party opposes this idea, according to Kontinent. In other
news, Ali Agca, who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, has given
an interview to the Spanish daily ABC in which he repeats his claim that
the CIA was involved in the attempt on the pope's life. He also
maintained that the "Bulgarian connection" was fabricated by the CIA in
order to discredit the KGB. Agca made similar statements in 1995. --
Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN DEMOCRATS WIN ALL DISTRICTS IN ELECTION RE-RUN. The Democratic
Party won all 17 electoral districts in which elections were repeated on
16 June, Reuters reported. Most opposition parties, including the
Socialists, abstained from voting and demanded a new ballot in all 115
districts. According to the Central Election Commission, 68 percent of
voters participated. The Democrats now have a secure two-thirds
majority, which allows them to pass a new constitution. Meanwhile, A
group of well-known Albanian writers, journalists, artists, and
scientists have called on the U.S., the EU, the OSCE, the Council of
Europe, and other international organizations not to accept the election
re-run as a democratic vote. They described the election as a "farce,"
adding that "the institutions of democracy in Albania have broken down."
-- Fabian Schmidt

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT IN GREECE. Levon Ter-Petrossyan, arriving in Greece
on 17 June for an official visit, held talks with his Greek counterpart,
Kostis Stephanopoulos, and Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, Reuters
reported. The discussions focused on bilateral relations, regional
issues, and Armenia's ties with the EU. A friendship agreement was
signed, as well as an economic and cultural cooperation agreement and an
accord promoting tourism. Ter-Petrossyan said the friendship treaty will
bolster the traditionally good relations between Armenia and Greece,
while Simitis stressed Greece's interest in investing in Armenia. A
defense cooperation agreement is expected to be signed on 18 June. --
Stefan Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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